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Pulford Castle

8km S of Chester, Cheshire, England
SJ 375 587

Photographs, plan and text copyright by Philip Davis

A small motte and bailey castle defends the crossing of the Pulford Brook, at this point the border between England and Wales, on the road from Wrexham to Chester. Pulford castle is stratgically sited as an outpost of Chester castle protecting the road at a major river crossing, though modern drainage has made the river and the river marshes look a lot less formidable today (The name Pulford is derived from pwll-marsh and ffordd-crossing). It is one of three small timber castles guarding the border in the area, the others being Dodleston a kilometer NW and the large motte at Aldford, protecting a crossing of the River Dee, a kilometer East. The plan below shows the strategic position of the castle.

The castle has little recorded history but was mentioned as being worth a garrison during the revolt of Owain Glyndwr in 1403. No date of construction has been firmly established but other of the local mottes have been attributed to either Hugh d'Avrances (aka Hugh the Fat or Hugh Lupus), Earl of Chester 1071-1101 or his son Richard FitzHugh (Richard of the White Ship) Earl from 1101-1120. A construction date of about 1100 seems likely for Pulford and it must certainly have been constructed on the orders of the Earl.

Pulford Castle from the Welsh side of the Pulford Brook.

 

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